Saying goodbye to the media's favorite Republican

'Polarization' is driving Olympia Snowe from the Senate


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: So, Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe -- yes, they have senators in Maine, Dana. I know you didn't know that -- says politicians --



GUTFELD: All right. We're going to start this again.

So, Olympia Snowe says politicians spend more time fighting than solving problems. That's why she is leaving. For this divisiveness makes her wonder if she'll be productive in the future. To which I say: See you.

Senator, you have been in politics since, what, 1978? Thirty-four years is a long time on our dime. But if you think I am buying that your exodus is due to polarization, then I could say the same thing as every bar I'm at, at 2 a.m. The polarization between myself and the bartender can get pretty extreme, especially if he wants me gone and I'm making out with a barstool.

And are we really to believe you discovered polarization now? I guess you missed the Iraq war and those Clinton years and the Clarence Thomas hearings and Robert Bork. Yes, that was a love fest.

The fact is, to blame anything on polarization is to blame everything on principle. Defending disguised liberals like Snowe is only protecting a lack of principle, which raises an interesting point. Why is it when a Republican moves to the left it's commendable, but when a Democrat moves to the right, like Joe Lieberman, it's antisocial?

Either way, Snowe is the media's favorite kind of Republican, a liberal one. She is like Arlen Specter in a dress, which is kind of hot when you think about it.

She is a very classy lady. I wasn't talking about her looks. I was talk about her principles being like Arlen Specter.

But the fact is no one ever talks, Dana, they never talk about wouldn't it be great if Ted Kennedy became more moderate? If you are liberal, you are always heroic. If you're very conservative, you're a nut.

PERINO: Yes, starting to feel that a lot lately.


PERINO: Because sometimes in D.C., especially like on the cocktail circuit --


PERINO: -- to get invited to the parties.

GUTFELD: I'm often invited.

PERINO: You're the only conservative that anybody can stand. Then they invite you to the party. And then it's like, see how balanced we are?

And they can point to the one person they have.

But let me say this about Olympia Snowe. I think she has been a great leader.


PERINO: I think she has been someone that is a reliable person who for Maine was a good senator for Maine. And, obviously, they re-elected her so many times.

But I also think that it's maybe time. And I think Maine actually -- Bob, I don't know if you agree with this, a lot of people said oh, no, now, the Republicans are going to lose Maine. I don't think that's necessarily true.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I think they could actually -- they are probably going to do really well.

PERINO: You do? You think so?

TANTAROS: In 2010, during the midterm elections, they took over the governorship from a Democrat. Republicans won. And the House and the Senate in Maine flipped to Republican control.

And that was a state that Barack Obama won by, I believe, 57 percent.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Right, yes. But --

TANTAROS: This is looking really good for the Republicans. I talked to the RNC today, they said we feel good about this.

BECKEL: Well, the only question is, who will the Democrats put up?

Remember, 2010, the turn-out in presidential race is going to be a lot higher.


BECKEL: But leaving it aside, you know, the last time -- she is right about the partisanship. On the serious note, she -- the last time a major cross party bill was passed, George Bush was able to do it on No Child Left Behind. The fact is that the moderate Republican is a dying breed in the Senate and the House.

More and more -- it's true about the Democrats, too, by the way. Both caucuses are getting more polarized all the time. And if you're a moderate Republican, sitting in these caucuses, you can get nothing.

GUTFELD: But here is the thing. Let me ask you this, Eric. Moderate is code for liberal.

Isn't it the fact that people didn't start talking about polarization until conservatives started to fight like liberals? No one talked about polarization when the left were in charge.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: What's wrong with polarization?

GUTFELD: Exactly.

BOLLING: I'm all for polarization. I'm all for, you know, pushing further. I don't like this moderate Republican or moderate Democrat. Be a Republican or Democrat. Be true to yourself. Be true to your party. I'm not sure --

PERINO: I think she was.

BOLLING: I'm sure what Scott Brown -- what's Scott Brown?

PERINO: He's a Republican --

GUTFELD: Gorgeous guy.


BECKEL: If it wasn't for moderate Republicans and Democrats, you wouldn't have Civil Rights Act --

PERINO: Why wouldn't you want a big tent?

BOLLING: I think there's so many --

TANTAROS: I want a big tent.

PERINO: I even want you inside the tent.

BOLLING: No, no.

GUTFELD: Are you inviting him to go camping?


BOLLING: We have a president that's not moderate by any means, right?



BECKEL: Hell no, he's a socialist.

GUTFELD: -- move to the middle.

TANTAROS: Yes. We're being uncompromised.

GUTFELD: Yes, exactly.

BECKEL: The right, are you the right? Are you right?

GUTFELD: I consider myself libertarian conservative. Yes, I am the right.

PERINO: Are you invited to cocktail parties now?

GUTFELD: I don't get invited to anything. The only cocktail parties I go to are my garage with those candy cocktail.

BECKEL: If you wouldn't kiss barstools, you'd probably get invited to a few things. And I can understand --

GUTFELD: I have poor eyesight, Bob. You never know what happens. This is the way I am.

BECKEL: I know.

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